9:45am PT by Rosie Knight
TV Trailer Watch: Netflix's 'Chambers' Leans Into Elevated Horror
Welcome to Trailer Watch, a regular feature that helps put the spotlight on series that may fly under the radar in the crowded Peak TV landscape. Each installment will explain what the show is and why it looks interesting. This week it's Chambers, Netflix's spooky new series about a heart attack survivor who gets drawn into the family whose daughter's death saved her life.
Horror programming has become one of the most successful genres on television in the last few years. From AMC's The Terror to FX's multiple Emmy award-winning American Horror Story to Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House, the landscape of premium programming is being shaped by a genre that was once seen as a lower form of entertainment. Netflix's new chiller Chambers hopes to re-create the success of those with a haunting story about a young woman who undergoes a heart transplant and becomes increasingly involved with the parents of the girl whose heart saved her life.
Starring newcomer Sivan Alyra Rose as heart attack survivor Sasha, alongside big draws Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) and Uma Thurman (The Slap, Smash) as the parents of the donor, this trailer introduces the premise of the show before quickly slipping into some very horror-drenched shots that hint at a whole bunch of potential routes for the show to go. Cult-like imagery features quite heavily in the two-minute teaser, with masks, strange gatherings and blood-red filters. There's also an element of the supernatural, as Sasha finds herself wondering if she's becoming possessed with the spirit of the heart inside her chest.
"Elevated horror" is a divisive term that's become popularized in the wake of films like The Babadook, Hereditary and The Witch. It purports that these iterations of genre storytelling are somehow better or more refined than the horror offerings of the past. Whatever your feelings about the controversial topic, that's the stylistic approach Netflix is trying to harness in Chambers, with the trailer sharing a lot of similarities to movies that have been classified as elevated horror.
The jarring, immersive sound design, sparse visuals and juxtaposition of the mundane with the highly visceral all hint that the streamer is a fan of the term and is attempting to make a TV show that fits into its parameters. Casting Thurman adds to the idea, as putting well-known actresses in unexpected roles has become part of the elevated horror package. Whether Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place or Toni Collette in Hereditary, the centering of women and their experiences of trauma have become a prime part of the horror trend of late, and Chambers appears to fit alongside that.
It'll be interesting to see how Chambers lands after the massive success of The Haunting of Hill House. With a diverse cast and intriguing premise, there's a chance Netflix could have another word-of-mouth hit on their hands.
Chambers joins Netflix on April 26.